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I am writing to inform you that Dr. Robert Luke, Vice-President of Research & Innovation, will be leaving OCAD University. He has accepted the position of Chief Executive Officer with eCampus Ontario, effective September 14, 2020. This promotion represents a tremendous opportunity for Robert, and OCAD University looks forward to the opportunity to partner with him in this new capacity.

During his tenure as VP, Research & Innovation at OCAD University, Robert has supported the growth of successful research funding for individual researchers at OCAD U and in their collaboration in projects with other institutions, achieving at least $33,000 per full-time faculty. He expanded the numbers and kinds of researchers who applied for funding with a deep sense of service and efforts to understand the research-creation capacities of the University as well as traditional research.

Robert also led the development and adoption of the 2019-2024 institutional research strategy, as well as a new framework for the distribution of research space, which takes into account decolonization principles. He oversaw the expansion of Canada Research Chairs to four, and supported Dr. Gerald McMaster’s launch of Wapatah in that context.

He led the early development of the framework behind OCAD U CO, the Business Innovation Studio. Recently with Dr. Caroline Langill, he led a review of Continuing Studies and plans for its growth. He also led the successful pivot of the Imagination Catalyst with the winning of an eCampus Ontario award to support the development of the online course that will form the basis for the new student and alumni supports.

In Robert’s words, “My four years at OCADU have been incredible and I am proud of the work we have done together to expand research diversity and capacity at the University, and to raise our profile externally. I feel fortunate to have supported our multi-talented faculty and have made many deep connections and friendships in our community. I look forward to maintaining these connections – and to building new ones – in my new role.”

Robert’s last day with the University will be September 11, 2020. I thank him for his hard work and dedication to supporting the many research accomplishments of our faculty, as well as his outstanding leadership and collegiality. A master of metaphor, Robert provided wisdom around the executive team table with clear perspectives and a great sense of humour.  

On the behalf of the executive team and our community, I wish him all the very best for the future. We look forward to working with Robert in his new capacity and know that he will remain a strong and passionate colleague of OCAD University.

Our incoming president, Ana Serrano, will be working on a transition plan for this role that will be announced in the coming weeks.

Warm regards,

Dr. Sara Diamond, C.M., O.ONT., R.C.A., ICD.D

President and Vice-Chancellor

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I am writing to inform you that Dr. Robert Luke, Vice-President of Research & Innovation, will be leaving OCAD University. He has accepted the position of Chief Executive Officer with eCampus Ontario, effective September 14, 2020. This promotion represents a tremendous opportunity for Robert, and OCAD University looks forward to the opportunity to partner with him in this new capacity.
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OCAD University is reinforcing its commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) within research with a grant from the federal government. The university has received $384,700 in funding over two years as part of a new program aimed at helping universities and colleges make the research community more diverse. The pilot program, Dimensions: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Canada, was launched today by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport.

The program aims to address systemic barriers, particularly those experienced by members of underrepresented or disadvantaged groups, including, but not limited to, women, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible minority/racialized groups, and members of LGBTQ2+ communities.

OCAD U’s project, co-led by Robert Luke, Vice President, Research and Innovation and Amanda Hotrum, Director, Diversity, Equity & Sustainability Initiatives, is titled “Building Institutional Capacity for Research, Equity, Decolonization, Diversity & Inclusion (REDDI).” The project extends the EDI to include decolonization, a key priority of the university’s Academic Plan, Strategic Research Plan, and its commitment to social and academic innovation.

The REDDI project will produce curriculum and training for all faculty and staff on equity issues as it pertains to engaging in research activities. The project will create a more supportive and inclusive research environment for all equity-seeking groups, including Black, Indigenous and People of Colour, people with disabilities, women, the neurodiverse, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, and two-spirit.

Research Diversity, Equity & Sustainability (ODESI)
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